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Art for "Vita Aethelstani"

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I started watching Vikings for background on this story. Or at least that was the excuse; it was a show I've been meaning to watch for a while given my interest in all things medieval. And I will cop to squeeing when I saw the monks working on the Lindisfarne Gospel in the episode where Aethelstan was captured. So I wanted to do something that involved some of that illumination (Lindisfarne and Book of Kells are two of my favorite medieval manuscripts to use as inspiration for scrolls in the SCA).

For the banner, I scanned in a couple of illuminted versals to use in the title, and also found some great knotwork clipart to use for the border. Since the story pretty closely follows the plot with a few twists, I found the perfect images's galleries for  Dispossessed. A bit of layering, and I'm really pleased with the result. I just love the expressions of the characters. For the section bars, I used clipart from the same source, and assembled it into a bar, then beveled it. I did one plain and one with the title of the story for the author to chose which to use.

Banner (click for full size)

Section Bars:
Section bar
Section bar title

For the mix covers, I found a screen cap of Athelstan that just grabbed me, of him right after his capture praying and holding his cross close. I used that for the front cover, cropped so it zoomed in on his face and cross as the focal point, and ramped up the vibrance to oversaturate the colors. The back cover is a crop of a "carpet page" from the Lindisfarne Gospels, a page that is just one big illumination, with no text. I darkened the exposure a bit so the colors would pop more and so the text of the tracklist would show better against it. The songs for the mix are chosen some for their overall ambience and some specifically for the lyrics representing Athelstan's journey throughout the story.

Mix (click covers for larger image):
Vita Aethelstani front cover   Vita Aethelstani back cover
(78.6 MB | 12 songs, covers, lyrics)

01 Prayer of Saint Francis by Sarah McLachlan
Lord make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
And where there is sadness, joy.

O divine master grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive-
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And it's in dying that we are born to eternal life.

02 I Surrender All by Laura Powers
True love conquers
Temptation haunts the heart denied
Timeless, ageless
Through the mist I see your eyes

03 Something to Believe In by Clannad
I've been willing and strong all along
Through chilling times
In a sea of heartbreak
Where you give and take
I won't give in to promises
Until I find something to believe in
To believe in

04 Searching by Atli Orvarsson

05 Night Ride Across The Caucasus by Loreena McKennitt
Take me with you on this journey
Where the boundaries of time are now tossed
In cathedrals of the forest
In the words of the tongues now lost

06 Broadsword by Jethro Tull
I see a dark sail on the horizon set under a black cloud that hides the sun.
Bring me my broadsword and clear understanding.
Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman.
Get up to the roundhouse on the cliff-top standing.
Take women and children and bed them down.

07 The Living Light by Elfin Saddle
I am weak and starry-eyed
I am weak and starry-eyed
‘til the ray of sunshine
‘til the ray of sunshine

08 Fire by Noah Gundersen
I was raised by the water
By the crippling waves
And the gulls gave me my singing voice

When the devil came to visit me
He said son I am your enemy
Fear me
But it came to my surprise
I was drawn by the fire

09 Guide Me God by Sinead O’Connor
(Are you here?)
I'll always know you're there
I will always know
Guide me God and I will find you

10 Angel’s Flight by Shadowfax

11 Dun Ringill by Jethro Tull
We'll wait in stone circles
Till the force comes through
Lines joint in faint discord
And the storm watch brews

A concert of kings
As the white sea snaps
At the heels of a soft prayer

12 Wild Mountain Thyme by Abby Green
If my true love he were gone,
Then I'd surely find another,
To pull wild mountain thyme,
All around the bloomin' heather.
Will ye go, lassie, go?